Red Lake woman found guilty in girl’s death from starvation and infection caused by severe lice infestation

A Red Lake lady was found guilty of felony child negligence after a child in her care died in 2022 on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota.

Sharon Rosebear, 63, and her co-defendant, Julius Fineday Sr., will face federal charges in 2023 following the child’s death, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Minneapolis. Rosebear was charged with felony child neglect causing significant harm, while Fineday was charged with second-degree homicide.

According to the evidence given at trial, Rosebear purposely denied the girl food and medical care throughout 2022. The findings proved that the girl died as a result of malnutrition and infection, according to federal authorities.

The evidence presented at trial revealed that, as one of the girl’s caregivers, Rosebear was able to provide for her nutrition and health care, but she “intentionally deprived (the child) of those basic needs by withholding food and looking the other way while (the child’s) health deteriorated.”

This included evidence demonstrating that health treatment and transportation to receive it are free inside the Red Lake Nation, and that “all of the adults and children involved in the case received nutritional and cash assistance adequate to meet their basic need,” according to prosecutors.

According to police, the girl died at the same weight she was nearly three years ago. Evidence also proved that Rosebear was aware of the girl’s serious lice infestation, but chose to isolate her rather than seek medical assistance.

Medical testimony revealed that the girl’s infection at the time of her death may have entered her body through scrapes in her scalp caused by untreated lice.

The testimony also revealed that the girl’s extended malnutrition could have been “an independently sufficient cause of death, or may have severely compromised (the child’s) immune system’s ability to fight infection,” according to investigators.

Rosebear was convicted of felony child maltreatment after a six-day trial in the United States District Court. Fineday pleaded guilty before his trial in March 2022.

Their sentencing hearings will be set for a later date.

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